Northwest B.C. riders rally against bullying after Kitimat teen's death

·2 min read

Motorcycle riders across northwest B.C. came together June 7 to honour the memory of 15-year-old Diversity Morgan, a Mount Elizabeth Middle Secondary School Student from Kitimat who was found dead June 2.

The rally came as Diversity’s parents called for more awareness of the effects of bullying on young people, a factor they alleged contributed to their son’s death.

Diversity was transgender and in the process of transitioning from female to male.

“We just really want to bring awareness, when kids see bullying like that they shouldn’t join in and if they witness it they should report it immediately,” said Diversity’s mother, Charmaine Scodane.

“Parents need to be telling their kids that they shouldn’t be asking kids their gender just because they dress differently.”

Diversity’s father, Mike Wilson, said there needs to be more awareness, more help, and more counselling available in the Northwest.

He said that they had an appointment with doctors at a Prince George clinic to begin Morgan’s transition. The clinic being far away from Kitimat, Diversity was video-conferencing with counsellors on a daily basis.

“We’ve been waiting for months and the waiting took its toll. I think Diversity just had enough,” said Wilson.

The parents said Diversity gave no indication of being bullied at school.

School District 82, as is the case with other school districts in B.C., adopted the sexual orientation and gender identity policy (SOGI) in 2018, which prohibits any form of discrimination, intimidation or harassment based on sexual orientation .

Diversity’s parents said they were informed by the school the afternoon of June 1 that Diversity had left the school. Kitimat RCMP were then contacted and Diversity was found deceased the following day.

The RCMP directed media questions to BC Coroners Service.

In an emailed statement, the BC Coroners Service said it is investigating a June 1 death in Kitimat. A name was not provided, nor further details about the victim.

The motorcycle rally was organized by Kitimat resident Jim Manson after Mike Wilson, a fellow motorcycle rider, reached out.

Various biking groups including Prince Rupert Harley Riders, Ladies in the Wind and Harley Owner’s Group (HOG) responded to the call with approximately 40 riders congregating at the Skeena Mall.

Manson said that he wasn’t expecting a huge turnout on such short notice when he sent out a message Wilson wanted to ride out with a couple of them to honour his child’s life.

“A beautiful child was lost,” said Manson, “I’m told that there was an issue that he was born a girl and he was bullied a lot in school and that seems to be what’s behind why we’re here today.”

Those participating were given pins containing Diversity’s picture.

- With files from Jacob Lubberts

Binny Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News

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